Sunday, January 29, 2012

DoubleStar Corp Zombie-X AK with Chain Saw

Please please please send me one for review Smile

It makes S&B NOT just because it’s a cool AK Mod, NOT just because it has a CHAINSAW (although that is cool as shit) – but the Ace Limited Tactical Bottle Opener.  Every rifle needs one.

Cheers -

Quote of the Day–W.C. Fields



"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."

Southern Tier–oak aged un-earthly Imperial India Pale Ale


It’s well documented that I love flavor bombs – Hops, Peat, Spices….I dig it all.

Southern Teir BottleSo, when looking for a new single to try (it’s a toss up here in CoMO as to who has the best selection, Arena Liquors or HyVee), the bright green label with the word Un-Earthly definitely caught my eye. 

Hopefully, any company that was willing to put that on a bottle had the balls to back it up.

Southern Tier Brewing is an eastern New York (south of Buffalo) brewery that began operations in late 2002.  With gradual product that is now approximately 50,000 barrels, the Southern Tier line is available in over half the United States and Worldwide.

Oak aged un earthly Imperial India Pale Ale

Appearance – First, this beer is gassy.  Not in bad way, but in the Souther Tier Foamway that the foam was literally oozing out of the bottle upon opening (no Tom, I didn’t shake it up).  The pour then lead to an interesting light head, that reminded me of a meringue pie.  I know the pictures cannot do it justice, but there were literal fluffy caps on the foam as I was setting up.

The color itself was a hazy/cloudy burnt orange that actually caught me off guard.  With that much going on in the liquid (and the already hoppy smell wafting up), this was not what I was expecting – could it be they were going to live up to the name?

Nose – I mentioned earlier that this beer was gassy – well that plays Colorwell to the nose, as the earthy and citrus hoppyness greats the drinker as he brings it to his mouth.  The smell just emanates and sticks to the glass in such a good way.  The hops is intermingled with caramel, oaken wood and roasted malt. 

Taste- With a thick and sticky, the taste of this brew carries flavors of oakyness, vanilla,hops,citrus, toffee and more hops.  The lingering dry finish is pleasant a dry, with a slight citrus aftertaste (grapefruit). This all works well together well to mask the high ABV (9.9%) to make this highly enjoyable and drinkable. 

I really really really enjoyed this beer.  The flavors came through and it was unique enough that it would bring me back for more.  I would particularly enjoy trying this one tap somewhere (looking at you Dave) to see how it plays out compared to the bottled variant.

An excellent beer that I would rate easily 4.5 Stars.

Well done Southern Tier!


Two interestingly repurposed items

Well, actually “6 Hugely Successful Products Originally Invented for Something Else”, but only two apply hear.

Listerine -

Listerine was invented 133 years ago, first as a surgical antiseptic, but also as a cure for gonorrhea (don’t try that at home). An article from 1888 recommends Listerine “for sweaty feet, and soft corns, developing between the toes.” Over the course of the next century, it was marketed as a refreshing additive to cigarettes, a cure for the common cold, and as a dandruff treatment. But it was in the 1920s that the powerful, germ-killing liquid finally landed on its most lucrative use as a magical cure for bad breath.



Brandy, that delightful, caramel-colored after dinner drink, started off as a byproduct of transporting wine. About 900 years ago, merchants would essentially boil the water off of large quantities of wine in order to both transport it more easily, and save on customs taxes, which were levied by volume. After a while, a few of these merchants, bored perhaps after a long day on the road, dipped into their inventory and discovered that the concentrated, or distilled, wine actually tasted pretty darn good. Voila! Brandy was born.

Read the full text here:

I knew about Brandy, but Listerine Cigarettes is HARD CORE.  It make’s Mom’s Menthols look like candy sticks.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Seven (Yes Seven) Vodka Reviews

Contributor, Friend and fellow Blogger Randy (aka – The Professor) over at Mysideofthebar recently conducted a blind tasting of seven different kinds of Vodkas with his friends in KC.

<You can read the results HERE>


On top of this, he sent over his individual impression of each one as a sort of mini-review.

I had already reviewed Crystal Head Vodka, but I always enjoy opposing views.  Here is my review of Crystal Head Vodka and  the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey that appears in almost all off Randy’s pics.

We’ve discussed doing lineups like this before, and I am in the process of setting up a Gin and Tequila tasting to compliment this excellent feedback from Randy.

Stay tuned and enjoy.

Cheers -

Nose: Alcohol
Initial Taste: Sweet and very smooth
Finish: Small Burn
Overall I have always been a fan of Svedka Vodka and until recently Svedka was the preferred Martini Vodka of MySideOfTheBar. I will have to say I was a little surprised by my review Still a Vodka I enjoy and will continue to purchase.

Crystal HeadVodka6
Nose: Neutral and virtual order less
Initial Taste: Very smooth and rated a little smoother than Svedka
Finish: Light, smooth and no burn.
I have had Crystal Head Vodka in the past and I will say as I have before that for the price I had expected a little more. The bottle however is a great marketing strategy and I have the matching skull shot glasses to match.

Burnetts  Vodka8
Nose: Slight alcohol, but not as much as Svedka
Initial Taste: Smooth and light
Finish: Fresh, light and no burn
Burnetts is the preferred mixing Vodka of MySideOfTheBar and I am happy to report that it passed this taste test with flying colors. While it did not rank as high as some it is still an excellent Vodka for mixed drinks and when you consider the price it is a great bargain.

Pinnacle Vodka7
Nose: Slight alcohol about the same Burnetts
Initial Taste: Smooth
Finish: Light, fresh and a little burn
I enjoy Pinnacle Vodka, however given all the other great Vodkas available in this price range I generally do not purchase. I would give a thumbs up to Pinnacle’s flavored Vodkas, but this is a story for another blog.

Grey Goose Vodka9
Nose: Very light alcohol
Initial Taste: Very light, smooth and no alcohol taste
Finish: Very smooth
I used to be a huge Grey Goose fan, but to me the return you get for the cost is not worth it. There are many other Vodkas that are better in both mixed drinks and Martinis.

Nose: Light alcohol similar to the Grey Goose, but not as much as Svedka or Burnetts.
Initial Taste: Sweet and Smooth
Finish: Very smooth and an excellent finish
I was most surprised by this Vodka as the original reason I purchased it was because of the packaging. However after tasting I would definitely purchase again.

Nose: Very, Very light and no alcohol
Initial taste: Light taste with slight alcohol
Finish: Smooth and light
I enjoy Shpilka Vodka and it is the official Martini Vodka of MySideOfTheBar for 2011. There is a little more sweat taste to this Vodka and it makes an excellent Vodka Martini.

An Awesome Silent Movie–Princess Nicotine

Why cant Hollywood make films like this anymore?

Filmed in 1909, and sometimes titled The Smoke Fairy, the film follows a smoker who falls asleep and is visited by two fairies who play tricks on him.

As a bit of trivia, the films was the first instance of tobacco product placement (for Sweet Corporal cigarettes and cigars) in movies.

The film was deemed significant in 2003 by the Library of Congress and is part of the National Film Registry.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Classic Entertainment on the Frank Sinatra Show

Enjoy Larry Griswold – (Drunk?) Comedian and co-inventor of the trampoline.

Smokes and Booze SCOOPS CNN/HLN

Eagle-eyed Simon spotted just a little bit ago that Headline News is currently running a story about Pat Sajak hosting the Wheel of Fortune Drunk.

He sent me this screengrab

PatSakak HLN

It also appears that CNN has the story on “The Marquee Blog” – Dated 26 January 2011 at 10:19 AM EST. 

What makes this interesting – I scooped CNN by just over 2 hours when I posted This story to my blog.

This makes me wonder if either someone from CNN Follows us here at S&B, or my tweet/links were forwarded.

Even if it is just coincidence – it just goes to show where you should go to for breaking news…….now if I could just get James Earl Jones to do a voiceover.

Just give her some Cigarettes

Wow – just WOW.

Come here for the story – but follow the link for the Video (with raspy voice goodness) and Mugshot.

Woman arrested after allegedly calling 911 six times


An Osceola County woman is still in jail for allegedly calling 911 six times for no apparent reason.
"What's going on there ma'am?" the 911 operator asked.
"None of your business! Just send me a sergeant. It's none of your business! Why the hell are you so stupid?" Joan Mayo replied.
Each time Mayo got connected to the 911 center in St. Cloud on Tuesday, she screamed profanities at dispatchers and berated them, according to police.

Officials said Mayo never had a clear reason for calling, but neighbors said she was looking for something in particular.
"She just wanted cigarettes. That's all she wanted. She wanted cigarettes," said her neighbor, Lillian Morales.
The final straw came when police showed up to talk to her. Police said Mayo called 911 on her cellphone a sixth time while they were in the parking lot dealing with the situation.

Mayo was arrested and hauled off to jail on charges of misusing 911.

"Rarely do we get calls like this for service," said Sgt. Denise Roberts, of the Saint Cloud Police Department.
Police said this affected two agencies, because cellphone calls are first answered by Osceola County, then routed to St. Cloud.
But, Mayo won't be forced to pay back money wasted investigating her calls because no real calls were delayed.
Mayo allegedly told police she had no regard for the 911 system and would call whenever she wanted to.

This Day in History–MOZART

Mozart.  Seldom in history does one name instantly define who you are speaking about, especially in the performing arts.  Madonna tries, but more and more she is becoming irrelevant.  But Mozart… there is a name that has endured for hundreds of years.  The only one I can compare him to is Beethoven.mozartcolor

Born on this date (27 January 1756) in Salzburg, Mozart was a prolific composer – writing operas, piano concertos, sonatas, symphonies, and string quartets and quintets.  You know when you have a category in your repertoire entitled Childhood Symphonies (of which he wrote more that 40), you are something special.

MozartHe even has a liqueur named after him, although I am not a huge fan of it.  I’ve had the Mozart Gold several times in Germany, and it always lead to something bad – usually with me inflicting some type of unusual bodily harm unto myself.  Oh well.

This wouldn’t S&B without some other meaning behind him, and in this case….it is the Mozart Haus in Augsburg. 

Home of the “First Mozart Ancestor”, David Mozart, and birthplace of Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s Father), this house was donated to the city of Augsburg by the Hasen Brewery in 1939 and is now a museum and memorial to the Mozart Family. 

Mozart HausThis home is actually special to me, as I saw it almost every day from 1992 – 1995, when I was frequenting an Irish Pub (Murphy’s Law) that was literally a stone’s throw away “Auf dem Kreuz”.

I would take the “Stass” or drive past…and it always held a bit of wonderment, knowing the history of the building.  The above picture is how I remember it – pastel colored and unassuming, with a small stone plaque above the first floor window – not the guady red it is now with the large painting out front.

Of course, having a personal liqueur and a brewery saving your ancestral home AND having a museum near on of my favorite bars  is cool and all – but when you have a song written about you in German and it becomes the Number 1 Song in the US (March 29 1986)…then you know you are something.

Here are the voiceover facts from the US Release of “Rock Me Amadeus”-

1756: Salzburg, January 27, Wolfgang Amadeus is born.
1761: At the age of 5 Amadeus begins composing.
1773: He writes his first piano concerto.
1782: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart marries Constanze Weber.
1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart becomes a Freemason.
1791: Mozart composes The Magic Flute. On December 5 that same year, Mozart dies.
1985: Austrian rock singer Falco records "Rock Me Amadeus"!

So raise a glass to Brother Mozart (yes, I am a Freemason too) – who knows what the world would have been like without his music.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Postmen can’t hold their liquor

Ok, cheesy joke….I get it. 

Jensen Beach Post Office evacuated after 'suspicious package' leaks moonshine

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- The Jensen Beach Post Office was evacuated Thursday after a "suspicious package" began leaking an unknown oily substance, according to Martin County Fire Rescue spokesperson Daniel B. Harshburger.

Harshburger told TCPalm that the substance was later identified as moonshine.

Crews were called to the scene by employees of the post office at 2301 NE Savannah Road. The Martin County Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials Response Team was also called.

"At this time we are assessing two patients. Both patients are stable and being transported to a local area hospital for evaluation," said Harshburger before the substance was identified.

The post office was evacuated at 10:41 p.m

Read more:

When is smoking “Unruly”?

You know, I have to applaud this guy.  At least he is standing up for what he believes in.

I remember when you could smoke on a plane.  I remember when service members (through SATO) always seemed to be seated in the back, and that was the smoking section.  People would buy me drinks to swap seats so they could have a puff.

I didn’t find the smoke (at the time, I didn’t smoke myself) bad, and the hidden benefits were great.

Then the government became involved and no more firing up in transit.  It hasn’t made the flights any safer, its just inconvienenced passangers (hmmmm – Sounds like TSA).

There are still ashtrays on a plane, and if they are missing – the plane is grounded.

Anyway, an unnammed  passanger is now in FBI custody, facing Federal Charges….all for trying to exercise his right to pursue happyness in his own way.

Sounds kinda messed up to me…..considering all the REAL crimes commited every day.

Am I off base here?

Plane diverted after passenger lights cigarette in cabin

A Continental Airlines flight traveling from Houston to California had to be diverted here Tuesday evening because of an “unruly passenger” who reportedly lit a cigarette in the cabin and refused to put it out then fought with a flight attendant, officials said.

The man, whose name and age were not available, was taken into custody by the San Antonio police and the FBI and could face federal charges, officials said.

San Antonio police Capt. Cris Andersen said the man allegedly lit the cigarette while in the cabin. He reportedly refused to put out the cigarette and when a flight attendant tried to take it from him there was a struggle, Andersen said.

The pilot notified the Transportation Security Administration about the disturbance and the plane was diverted to the San Antonio International Airport where it landed just before 7:45 p.m., according Andersen and the Continental Airlines website.

Upon landing, the man was taken into custody, Andersen said. He added it is standard protocol to inform the FBI when someone needs to be removed from a flight. The FBI then reviews the case to see if federal or state charges would apply. In this case, Andersen said, he was told the passenger possibly faced federal charges.

According to the Continental Airlines website, the flight was supposed to be non-stop from Houston to Ontario, Calif., and arrived about two hours late because of the diversion.

Read more:

Drunk on Wheel of Fortune?

I’m a child of the 80’s.  What can I say, TV was my life.

I remember the daytime run of Wheel of Fortune, I remember Vanna White in Playboy (1987, the year I graduated High School) and I remember the days when players didn’t win cash, but instead won credit to be used on merchandise.  

So this interview below of Pat Sajak by “Highly Questionable” (@DLHQ) really strikes home with me – and I can understand when Pat says:

“Vanna and I would go across and have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet. They're really great tapes to get a hold of"

I tell everyone, 80’s Television rocked.  Now I know one of the excuses.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Robbie Burns–Mortlach 1997

It’s Robbie Burns Night and as I was picking my toasting Scotch – I decided to go with something a little different – and when going down that path, I always recommend looking for anything from Signatory Vintage Distributors.

Mortlach LabelSignatory Vintage was established in 1988 by Andrew and Brian Symington. however, they were only granted a license to bottle whisky in 1992. During the four years between, the company were sourcing and storing whisky from distilleries all over Scotland. They bottle and hand label everything from their headquarters in Edinburgh and their current stock list includes releases from over 50 distilleries, including some closed or mothballed ones. Signatory have three main ranges – the regular range which is bottled at 43% ABV, a cask strength range and an unchillfiltered range. They also own the Edradour distillery in the central Highlands, which they purchased in 2002.

web -

source -

While the above information is somewhat dated (my bottle was bottled in 2010), I’ve still had great success with Signatory.  So what you get when you buy from them, you get some very unique and limited (at times, bottling from a single cask) whiskies.  As you can see on the label (click to embiggen) you get some very specific data….which to collectors and drinkers can mean a lot.

Tonight’s dram is from a distillery I had never heard of, a 1997 Mortlach.


A Speyside distillery that has a capacity of approximately 3 Million liters a year, Mortlach is an important contributor to the Johnny Walker blends. 

Mortlach Lineup

I actually laid my drinks out in two presentations – one in a toasting glass (very fitting) and the other in a whisky glass with a Whiskey Disk inside (for casual sipping while I wrote and watched Back to the Future).


Appearance – Bottling wise, typical no frills Signatory Vintage.  The best part for me is that added data – for example, my bottle came from Cask 12854 and is bottle number 74 out of 369.

Color is a light golden hue, with a crystal clear appearance.  I was actually taken back by the lightness and brilliant (the picture does it no justice) clarity.

Mortlach ColorNose- Not as peaty as I am used to, there is still a strong alcohol nose, with a mix of berries, floral/flowery, citrus that is quite appealing.  I was actually reminded of some of the high end Gins when it came to the berry nose – so that is a good thing. 

Definitely this whisky takes on the oak from the cask, so if you are strictly a Peat-head – this might not be for you.

Taste – Oaky/Woody, with a (again) strong alcohol opening.  Rather viscous (with a honey taste and feel), I was surprised how well it coated the mouth.  Fruity and sweet (honey) made this actually quite pleasant.  Even the aftertaste was refreshing (as I watched Marty McFly experience Hill Valley for the first time in the 50s).  In particular, the spiciness (equal, if not exceeding,  of some the quality rums out there) really adds to a rather excellent finish.

As  always, I am impressed with what Signatory has done.  They take left over casks, bottle them and release a classic. 

While not my typical, this was an excellent whisky that I was completely amazed by – although I shouldn’t be surprised.  Signatory opens up wide range of typically unavailable whiskies to us (the common man) at (typically) a reasonable price.  While I cannot attest to the availability/bottling of this particular cask, I can speak to the quality of product Signatory Vintage puts out…I have never been disappointed.   I would love to try other samplings from Mortlach, however – this might be (due to local availability) this might be my only shot.

An excellent whisky, I would definitely rate it a solid 4 stars, with a potential 5th star for those of you who enjoy those whiskeys that are nor overly peated.

Great Job to both Mortlach (for the distilling) and Signatory Vintage (for the bottling) for bringing this to market. 

Cheers to all -


Oliveros Cigars–Aging Room M356

Here is a quick Cigar review by Randy from MySideoftheBar.  I always trust his opinions on cigars and whisky (the jury is out on Vodka and Gin – waiting for his upcoming blind tasting notesWinking smile ) – So I will definitely pick up a few of these sticks for the Humidor.  Thanks Randy.

Aging Room M356

I was browsing on Facebook a while back and ran across a poll from Rafael Nadol of Oliveros Cigars asking how many cigars you smoked a week. All I had to do was to answer the question and send Rafael my address and he sent me a three cigar sampler.

OlierosOne of the Cigars Contained in the sampler was the Aging Room Small Batch M356. (Aging Room M356, Mezzo 6 x 54) This Cigar gets its name from the day they were picked out of the aging room: Monday, December 22, 2008, the 356th day of the year.

I knew nothing about this Cigar before obtaining this sampler and would have to say I was surprised. While most of the reviews show this as a Medium Body Cigar I would have to disagree. This was a very full body smoke and definitely not for the beginning Cigar smoker.

The taste was even throughout the entire smoke and stayed cool all they way to the end of the stick.

For the price, about 7.00 USD it is a very nice smoke.

Quick Facts and Links -

Words to live by

Brought to us by my friend Jen and Van Gogh “Blue” Vodka.


Worlds Most Expensive Hotdog?

I hate being the investigative reporter here.  I mean, it’s 4:30AM (up for a work call) and I see this story – only to think Bullshit.

First, the title of World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog is not the “Haute Dog”, but instead the $80+ “McMullen” in Atlantic City.  A hot dog that is -

“A half-pound, all-beef hot dog rolled in truffle oil. It’s coated with porcini dust – pulverized mushrooms – and sprinkled with white truffle shavings, then topped with dollops of crème fraiche, fresh roe and caviar shipped from California. Keeping with baseball tradition, the dog will be deep-fried.

The dog will be served in a blini roll, a high-end bread specially made by the Cape Cod-based Underground Bakery.”

As you can see – the ingredients here are truly top quality and unusual.

The second challenge here is to justify the $100 Price.  With the “McMullen” above, everything is opulent across the board.  Meanwhile, the only thing that really sets the Dragon Dog apart is the Kobe Beef and Lobster.  The reporter (probably at the suggestion of the dogs creator) focuses on Cognac, at that is where everything (IMO) falls apart.

Stated to be “Infused” with Louis XIII Cognac has multiple issues -

Infused?  Instead, when you read the article, you learn that there is a minimal amount of cognac used -

  • “seasoned with droplets of hundred-year-old Louis XIII cognac”
  • “squeezing a droplet of cognac into a split, steaming bratwurst.”

Therefore, a single standard bottle would last you approximately 750 Hotdogs

The stated $2000 per bottle is also overstated.  Granted, prices can fluctuate depending on the buyer, availability and age – as you can see, the most common price (at 36 stores) is $1699US, or $1721.33CAD. 

So, even if we went with the most expensive option as stated in the article – $2000/750ml (an eyedropper = 1ml) = $2.66 worth of cognac per hotdog.

While I defer to my chef friends out there, I don’t see how this price justifies the $100 cost.  I recently had a Kobe Beef Hamburger (with a lot of Kobe Beef) and it was nowhere near this price, especially when you think if you buy in bulk – the price goes down further.

I hate to see what the margin of profit is here.

In closing, I just don’t see this justifying the price.  Anyone can say “This Hot Dog is worth $X”, but it all depends on how it qualifies.  This seems like a publicity/money grab due to their being on “Dragon’s Den” (here in the US its called Shark Tank).  In the US, at some point in the show, they usually ask how much it costs to make something – which I think is the crux here.  Do they BS (or exaggerate for TV) or tell the true cost?  I guarantee there is not $100 worth of ingredients….and to me (and hopefully the Guinness Foundation) this is what defines a World Record.

What is everyone else's thought?


$100 cognac-infused hot dog for sale on streets of Vancouver

VANCOUVER - The average price of a hotdog in Vancouver has spiked dramatically thanks to a new cognac-infused foot-long selling for $100.

HotDogDougieDog restaurant on Granville Street will sell the hefty bratwurst, known as the Dragon Dog, on 12-hour notice only. It's seasoned with droplets of hundred-year-old Louis XIII cognac, worth more than $2,000 a bottle.

"It's the most expensive hotdog in the world," said DougieDog owner, dougieluv, during an interview in his restaurant's kitchen. "It's like fine dining in the hotdog world."

The Dragon Dog is the first hotdog in the world to sell for "three figures," he said, adding that the company is challenging the current Guinness World Record holder, the "haute dog," which sells for $69 at Serendipity restaurant in New York.

"In designing this hotdog I wanted to come up with something super tasty and high-end that stays true to the traditional identity of the hotdog," said dougieluv, squeezing a droplet of cognac into a split, steaming bratwurst.

His gold bracelets jingled as he smothered the dog with toppings of beer-fed Kobe beef, olive and truffle oil, and fresh lobster. A picante sauce ties the "flavours together for 12 inches of culinary decadence," he said.

The hotdog's namesake is two-fold.

"First, the launch of this hotdog coincides with the beginning of Chinese year of the dragon," Dougie Luv said. "It also coincides with our appearance on [CBC reality TV program] Dragons' Den, the most popular show on Canadian television."

According to CBC's website, DougieDog will make a pitch on tonight's episode of Dragons' Den, asking the investors for $200,000 for a 25-per-cent stake in the business.

Meanwhile, buzz around the Dragon Dog kept the phone ringing on Tuesday.

"I have a lot of reservations [for the new dog] already," said Dougie Luv.

"Vancouver is the greatest city in the world, and now we have the greatest hotdog in the world."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where did the pipe go?

I make no bones about the fact that I am a Notre Dame Fan.

I grew up in Northern Indiana watching the Irish play, but truly became a fan in Europe – where one of the few tastes of home was AFN carrying all ND Home Games.  At times, that was the football we got.

Just the other night, as I was watching the Irish upset #1 Syracuse, something popped into my mind – whatever happened to the pipe the Leprechaun used to smoke?

originalYou see, the late artist Ted Drake  was commissioned back in 1964 to create a logo to represent the Fighting Irish Leprechaun of Notre Dame.  Prior to this, the mascot of the university was a the Irish terrier Clashmore Mike.

For a mere $50, he created what was to go on to be one the most recognizable and memorable logos of all time.  A logo that definitely show the use of a traditional stemmed clay pipe.  You can see the original at the Eck Visitor Center.



Initially used on the 1964 football pocket cover, the logo was then placed on football programs and eventually appeared on the cover of Time magazine (along with coach Ara Parseghian) in  November 1964 (his first year at Notre Dame), still with the aforementioned pipe.

Mr. Drake even did another watercolor, this time with the Leprechaun striking the classic Heisman pose – again  with pipe.  This, by the way, is one of my favorite depictions and if anyone knows where I can get a print, I would really appreciate it.


As we go into 1973, the Leprechaun is still enjoying his pipe as he graces the National Championship Commemorative Bottle by 7-Up.  As a kid (I was 5 at the time) I remember this bottle being everywhere around Indiana, and they can still be found on Ebay and at swap meets/garage sales to this day.  Bottle7upnotredame

A 2nd bottle was done in 1978, again for a National Championship, but this only had a gold football player with an interlocking ND on his jersey (not very accurate).

Some time between 1973 and today, the logo deviated from the original piece: dropping the red hair, ruddy complexion and (sadly) the pipe.  One has to wonder if this was done at the beginning of the current era of political correctness – where nobody wants to expose children to any form of smoking.  It also could be tied the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of of 1970 – an act that interestingly did not begin to officially take effect until January 2 1971 – per a compromise to allow broadcasters to air cigarette commercials during the telecasts of New Year’s Day Bowl Games.


Of course, traditionalists need to have no fear – The pipe does return in a recent painting entitled “The Original Fighting Irish” by former Notre Dame lacrosse player Revere La Noue.

Original Fighting Irish

This excellent painting has become so popular, that current Irish Coach Brian Kelly had a print placed near his office and has said -

“You don't see faces.  You see blue-collar. You see a bit of a swagger. You see toughness. Growing up as an Irish Catholic in Boston, that's what I remember Notre Dame being. That's been one of our goals every day -- to get that fight back in the Fighting Irish. It's good because that's who I am anyway."

Prints can be purchased at, including individual pieces of our smoking man….who now has a name - Quinn

Hopefully Notre Dame will get back to those days of being the gritty, hard nosed, blue-collar teams of my youth.  I think they are making progress and soon we will see that reemergence.

While I doubt that we will see a return of the pipe (at least in an official capacity), perhaps Notre Dame is trying to at least get back into the tough image with the return of the Shillelagh (with my son).


If you have more information regarding the pipe’s removal, please feel free to email me at

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Quick Hits–The Little Late Edition

I’m REALLY Late getting this out today (Simon will know why – it started around NOON) – but I know there are people that look forward to this, so here we go.

First and foremost – Tomorrow Night is the first Beer Pairing dinner at 44Stone.  To those who will be there (Looking at you Debi), I am extremely jealous.  Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t stop by and enjoy the first Triple-T (Total Tap Takeover) by Schlafly.  Check out the beer list to get you motivated -

44stone list

From Beer we go to Whiskey, as in a New distillery to open in Gatlinburg.   This. appears to be an expansion of the Ole Smoky Distillery  - and of course, anytime you get another distillery in the world, it’s a good thing.

Ole Smoky Distillery opened in Gatlinburg in 2010. The distillery's website shows off mason jars of spirits, labeled Original Unaged Corn Whiskey, Moonshine Cherries and Apple Pie Moonshine.

I’ve had a couple of bottles here I have been working through, so expect a review soon.

From Whiskey we go to Whisky – We learn that Booze and Politics never mix.

Scotland’s most famous export will be hit by a Foreign Office ban if the country breaks away from the UK, says William Hague.

The Foreign Secretary says Britain’s 140 embassies and high commissions will stop promoting whisky and other products if Scotland becomes independent.

Many UK diplomatic missions help to promote whisky for free. Last year, whisky exports earned Scotland £3billion, equal to £125 a second and more than 20 per cent up on 2010. 

Read More 

Personally, I think this is complete and utter Bullshit.  You cannot use threats like this, and if nothing else – it will solidify the Scottish stance.  In fact, there is a movement afoot to start a Whisky Ambassador plan being launched to help bolster bar knowledge in Scotland and promote tourism there.  Could this be a preemptive counterstrike?  It wouldn’t surprise me, and I hope they do it more.

Finally – two unusual stories to wrap this Monday -

Collection of rare miniature bottles stolen – Who steals 450 Mini Bottles?  Really – next they will be stealing Grandma’s walker.Uuugh

If the above theft makes you wonder about humanity….all I have to say is WHO lets their Mom/Wife/Girlfriend go out dressed like this?  Seriously, I actually applaud the town bars for coming together and Banning her.

You can thank me later for the nightmares.

Cheers -

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snoop is bustin’ out a cigar line

This will either go over really well (like Ron de Jeremy Rum) or really bad (like anything from P-Diddy).  At least I’ll have something to go with my Gin and Juice.

Snoop Dogg launching Executive Branch cigars

Snoop Dogg is launching his own Executive Branch cigar range in the US.

The 'Drop it like it's Hot' star is planning to sell the cigars - which he claims are of a higher quality than most standard brands - for 50 cents each.

He told "Be sure to get you some, they're the natural size, they just taste a little better, they got more class on them.

"I just want to step up the cigar game, its like the next level, if you really want to be an executive, you smoke the Executive Branch, you know what I'm saying."

The cigars will initially be released at the Coachella festival in April, which Snoop is headlining with Dr. Dre, and after that he's hoping for the brand to branch out.

He added to The Sun newspaper: "Throughout 2012 we plan on releasing new styles and flavors. I will be working with their team to make sure all products are up to Snoop Dogg standards."

As well as cigars, Snoop is also a huge fan of smoking marijuana and - despite facing drugs charges in court later today (20.01.12) - he hasn't cut back on his smoking, although he's not tried the new strain of cannabis named after Jay-Z's daughter Blue Ivy yet.

He said: "I aint never smoked no Blue Ivy, I'm on that Snoop Dogg master Kush, that's what I'm addicted to right now."

Schlafly 2010 Imperial Stout

Since our friends over at 44Stone are hosting a Beer Pairing dinner on Tuesday, I thought I would give you  a preview of one of the beers on the menu – Schlafly 2010 Imperial Stout.Pants

Santa brought me two bottles of this beer for Christmas – Delivered in a really cute bottle carrier.  Sadly there are no labels on the carrier, so I cant tell you where to get one.  It is really nice and would definitely turn eyes at any holiday party you break it out for. 

That silly Santa really knows me.

Coming in 750ml bottles (that make great legs), this 10%ABV Imperial Stout is aged in bourbon barrels, and that flavor really carries through in the beer.

Trivia – Imperial Stouts were originally brewed in London for export to Catherine the 2nd of Russia.  The alcohol content was intentionally higher to prevent freezing during the trip.

2010 Imperial Stoutv2

  • Appearance- A thick pouring lead to a dense foamy head that held throughout the tasting.  Color was a deep, dark mahogany, that light had problem passing through.
  • Nose- Roasted Coffee and (unsweetened) chocolate mingle with with hints of vanilla, bourbon and oak.  As I drank, the nose opened up even further (possibly due to warming) to reveal molasses and fruit (cherries).
  • Taste – Syrupy to the tongue, this beer has a heavy and complex flavor that evolved (much like the nose) during the tasting.  Typical coffee and chocolate flavors comingled with rye/bourbon, cherry, coconut and vanilla.  Those RICH flavors work better than expected, although the heaviness leads one to think that one or two glasses to be more than filling.

Definitely not one to sit down for a bender, this is a beer for someone that loves beer and wants to savor how complex a beer can be. A true sign of a master brewer is when you have one glass and feel satisfied.

I really liked this beer, and I am glad that I have an extra bottle to put back for later.  Solid FOUR Stars.

That being said, I’m still miffed that I will be missing the pairing dinner, especially after seeing a preview of the menu last night. 

Jealousy is an understatement.

After speaking with Dave, the event is almost sold out….so if you are on the fence, you should hurry up and get your tickets.  Also, there are plans in the works for a Whiskey Pairing dinner in the near future – stay tuned for breaking updates.

Raise a glass to Robert Burns

Last year I almost missed this one, so this year I wanted to get a jump on it.

January 25th is Robert Burns Day – The Bard of Scotland. 

Probably best known (in America) for his rendition of Auld Lang Syne, Br. Burns was a prolific writer/poet/musician, and in 2009 he was chosen as the Greatest Scot by the Scottish people in a national TV vote.

In 2011, I posted a story on how to host a last minute Burns Dinner.

This year, I leave you two poems -

Fist – for the drinkers out there:

Scotch Drink

“Gie him strong drink, until he wink,
That’s sinking in despair;
An’ liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That’s prest wi’ grief an’ care;
There let him bouse, an’ deep carouse,
Wi’ bumpers flowing o’er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An’ minds his griefs no more.”

Next – for the Brethren:


Within your dear mansion may wayward contention
Or withering envy ne’er enter:
May secrecy round be the mystical bound,
And brotherly love be the centre.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quote of the Day (courtesy of Dave Barry)

“I like beer. On occasion, I will even drink beer to celebrate a major event such as the fall of Communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still working.” – Dave Barry


As We Like It–Retro Beer History Lesson

Why couldn’t I have gotten quality educational videos like this is school?

Instead we got the anti-alcohol and drug preachers.  David Toma spoke at my High School – what a waste.  The only thing I remember from his speech – Elegant Bouquet Daddy.

So we’ve gone from Supporting/Promoting an industry – to Demonizing it.

Funny how times have changed.

Yale Sucks

Yes, I said it – Yale Sucks. Yale

Lately, I have run a few stories regarding the purchase, sale and consumption of legal products -Government Regulations and MORE Government Regulations.  Needless to say, it doesn’t surprise me to see Colleges soon follow the example – in this case, Yale University.

You see, there was a accident where a woman (Nancy Barry) was stuck and killed by a truck.  For the record – This is a a tragedy – I don’t want comments like I got to THIS story.

Anyway, the problem here is that the truck was carrying empty beer kegs.  Not that the driver was drunk (he wasn’t), not that the driver failed to yield or obey traffic laws (its still under investigation) – but that the truck carried BEER KEGS.

Now, due to this tragedy, there can be no beer kegs at events or functions, tailgating must end at kickoff and you cannot even be in the tailgating areas after they are closed.

Lets get all draconian.

What if the truck had been hauling Oreos?  Would this lead to a campus wide ban during study sessions?  How would the students at Yale get their Milk and Cookies?  You can apply this skewed logic to any accident .

In fact, the same Yale University in the article below had another freak accident last year – an accident where a student had her hair caught in a lathe, which choked her to death.  Did this lead to the banning of lathes on campus? Probably not.  How about the requirement of hairnets/hats when working with this equipment?  Possibly.  If not, it should.  Maybe a buddy system when working in potentially dangerous situations?  Logical, but unpractical.

What this demonstrates is that something bad can happen at any time.  Its part of life. 

Instead of punishing everyone, how about setting proper expectations (no vehicle traffic in the tailgating areas during or immediately after games) vs an all out ban. 

Yale Bans Kegs At University Events

Yale University has established new rules for tailgating in the wake of the November death of a woman during the Yale-Harvard football game.

The new rules ban kegs of beer at all Yale athletic events or functions.

Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Mass., was killed and two other people were injured outside the Yale Bowl on Nov. 19 when a U-Haul truck laden with beer kegs suddenly accelerated and ran into them.

The driver of the truck, a Yale student, passed a field sobriety test. The police investigation into the accident is continuing.

Yale announced its new rules on Thursday. In addition the beer keg ban, large vehicles such as box trucks and certain commercial vehicles will not be allowed in university lots at athletic events, unless driven by a pre-approved, authorized vendor.

The university also said that student tailgating must end at the kickoff of football games, and that all students and guests will be required to leave the student tailgating area after than. People who don't go to the game will have to have leave the Yale Bowl area.

A new "vehicle-free area for student tailgating" will be set up. Students who bring a car will have to park in another area, the university said.

The new rules go into effect immediately, Yale said.

The university plans to review the logistics of Yale Bowl events, including parking, traffic control, crowd control, tailgating locations, police, security, shuttles and signs. Any new policies or practices that come out of that review will be put in place before the football season next fall, the university said.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time for a new dog

As annoying as Debi’s dog “Jim” is (I love you though Honey) – I at least have confidence that he could get out of this.

Death of a Tradition

Now if that doesn’t sound like a title of a Poe novel….I don’t know what does.

Poe is one of my favorite writers and was my first introduction into literary “horror” and crime novels (to be followed by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyels pipe/cigarette/opuim smoking Sherlock Holmes).

Rogers2His “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” was the first murder mystery based on a true crime – that of the actual murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers, aka “The Beautiful Cigar Girl”, meanwhile the poem “The Raven” is a true classic – even today.

PoeA purported alcoholic (  ), the mystery surrounding his death (caused by "cerebral inflammation", common euphemisms for deaths due to disreputable causes such as alcoholism) is almost as strange as that surrounding the annual visitor to his grave….a visitor who always left three roses and a half bottle of cognac on his birthday after raising a toast. 

Why cognac is also unknown– since it is alluded his drink of choice was whiskey, yet now it seems many of these questions shall go unanswered…..RIP Mr. Poe, and may your work go ever on.

Poe Fans Call an End to 'Toaster' Tradition

Edgar Allan Poe fans waited long past a midnight dreary, but it appears annual visits to the writer's grave in Baltimore by a mysterious figure called the "Poe Toaster" shall occur nevermore.

Poe House and Museum Curator Jeff Jerome said early Thursday that die-hard fans waited hours past when the tribute bearer normally arrives. But the "Poe Toaster" was a no-show for a third year in a row, leaving another unanswered question in a mystery worthy of the writer's legacy. Poe fans had said they would hold one last vigil this year before calling an end to the tradition.

"It's over with," Jerome said wearily. "It will probably hit me later, but I'm too tired now to feel anything else."

It is thought that the tributes of an anonymous man wearing black clothes with a white scarf and a wide-brimmed hat, who leaves three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe's original grave on the writer's birthday, date to at least the 1940s. Late Wednesday, a crowd gathered outside the gates of the burial ground surrounding Westminster Hall to watch for the mysterious visitor, yet only three impersonators appeared, Jerome said.

Read More of the story here…..

Thanks Jen for making me laugh


Upcoming Schlafly Beer Dinner @44 Stone

I am willing to go on record and say “I love 44 Stone”.

44 Stone is one of those places that I happened to stumble upon at it’s inception – and I’ve seen it go through growing pains during their first year, learn from past mistakes and grow into an outstanding place to go for dinner or a drink.

44 Stone Logo 3I can honestly say that it is our go to place when we want a night out.  The food is excellent, staff is outstanding and the Beer/Wine/Whisky selection is one of the best I have seen.

I know some people in Columbia think Murry’s has the best burger in town……I say to those folks – “You haven’t tried 44 Stone’s LOADED Burger on the pretzel bread bun”. 

I support 44 Stone so much, that it is one of two Banner Ads on the site – neither of which I collect any revenue on (the other is Pints for Prostates Charity at the bottom).  I just want them to succeed and wish to get the word out.

Anyway - I’ve been meaning to do a 1 year ‘Revisit” review and was hoping to use their upcoming Schlafly Beer Pairing dinner on January 24th as an excuse….but sadly I have conflicting arrangements – so only my wife and her friend will be attending.

It is the first time they will be doing a “Full Tap Takeover” and has the following Schlafly Beer line-up (at least at the moment and subject to change):

That’s sampling 7 beers PLUS Dinner for $50.  How could you go wrong?

As of this posting – there are 13 seats left… go to and sign up now, you wont be sorry you did.

Cheers -


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leapin' Leprechaun Ale

As I said earlier, this past weekend we went to Kingdom City to participate in a Relay for Life Trivia event.  It was a great time, and our team (Mom Drove Us) placed 2nd.  The event was somewhat surreal for me, as it was the first BYOB event I had ever been to like this – Imagine 30 Teams, over 250 Participants and EVERY Table was loaded with Booze and food.

Lep 3

This was our contribution to our table (sorry for the dark pic).

To add to the surrealism – I really didn’t drink that much, as Debi was have a great time socializing AND drinking her Herradura.  It’s not often that I get to be the responsible adult, so I was happy to set up.

Lep2When we got home, I thought I would start this review and crack open a Leapin’ Leprechaun (thus getting a jump on March).  My first drink was a little blah and I wasn’t impressed – but it was late and the beer wasn’t as cold as I like it to be….so I tossed it back into the fridge to be picked up later.

Here we are a few days later – and to be honest, my opinion hasn’t changed.

Appearance: The initial pour had a light effervescence that clung slightly to the side of the glass.  Hardly any head, with little retention (more on that in a few minutes). Color was a clear pale yellow that reminded me of some of main stream light beers on the market.

Nose: Scents of grain and grass.  No Character what-so-ever.

Taste: A buttery taste and mouthfeel that was verging up sickening.  There was a citrusy finish, but really nothing in between….unless the basic taste of (grain) alcohol.

Lep1As I go into my overall evaluation, I wanted to point out something that happened during the tasting.  If you notice in the first presentation picture above, the light head and slight carbonation.  I wanted to try and capture the yellowness of the beer – so I went to throw a white background underneath.  In the  (less than) minute it took me to get a piece of paper, the beer literally lost all its carbonation.  I was shocked – but not so much once I began drinking.

I really really really wanted to like this beer.  First, I was looking forward to a good Irish beer to lead into St. Patrick’s day with.  Secondly, I loved the logo.  Finally, it’s a Missouri beer and I always cheer for the home team.  

Sadly, this brew is already in contention as worst product of 2012.

It has nothing to do with Ireland (not a red or stout), the taste is bland at best (think watery Michelob Ultra), has nothing going for it (carbonation, nose and taste) and when you go to the companies website, they don’t even list it.  I openly wonder if this is a left over beer from the past that is being trotted out to get rid of stock as we lead into St Patrick’s.

I honestly rate this beer 1/2 Star….and for me, that is pretty bad.  Sadly, avoid at all costs. The only good thing I have to say, is I am glad nobody at the trivia event tried it… could have had an impact on my reputation.

MORE Government Regulations

Remember my post on Government Regulations – where I pointed out that more and more there would be laws to restrict the sales/purchase/consumption of legal substances?

Here we go….brought to you by New York Mayor Bloomberg. 

Under Federal Grants (yes, our tax dollars are going to help fund this at a State Level) that pertain to “Community Transformation” from the Obama Administration – Bloomberg wants to “reducing alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density”.  Of course they add Illegal alcohol under there too….but that is just a rider compared to who they are really going after.  Add in the censorship of banning advertisements on the public transit systems (where the vast majority are over 21) and you can see what a repressive state New York is.

When will the madness stop? 

Mayor's plan to limit booze sales

Party pooper!

First, Mayor Bloomberg went after smoking in public places. Then trans-fats, salt and sugary drinks.

Now Bloomberg — known for sipping fine wine and downing a cold beer from time to time — wants to crack down on alcohol sales to curb excessive drinking, according to a provocative planning document obtained by The Post.

The city Health Department’s far-reaching Partnership for a Healthier New York City initiatives proposes to slash the number of establishments in the city that sell booze.

Community “transformation” grants provided under President Obama’s health-care law would help bankroll the effort.

Mayor Bloomberg could find it harder to find a nice glass of wine if he gets his way.

One of the goals listed in the “request for proposal” document to community groups is “reducing alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density and illegal alcohol,” the document states.

“Talk about a nanny state. Why don’t they just close all the liquor establishments?” quipped Mike Long, a former liquor-store owner in Bay Ridge and head of the state Conservative Party.

“This is absolutely insane. They want to run the retail establishments in New York,” said Long, who likened the effort to the temperance movement of more than a century ago.

Health officials and advocates have also discussed banning liquor advertising seen by millions of straphangers in the transit system.

“Reduce the exposure to alcohol products and bar advertising and promotion in retail and general (trains, buses, etc.) settings (stores, restaurants, etc”, the department’s document says.

The department yesterday, declined to discuss specifics on how it would implement the controversial proposals.

“The city’s goals for the Partnership for a Healthier New York are in line with our ongoing strategies of promoting healthy eating and physical activity and discouraging tobacco, excessive alcohol use and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages,” a spokeswoman said. “Specific proposals, however, are still in the planning phase.”

Scott Wexler, president of the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association, vowed to go to court to fight any unilateral action by City Hall.

“More social engineering by Mike Bloomberg. What a surprise!,” Wexler said.

But health officials cite an army of statistics to defend the crackdown.

Alcohol-related hospital emergency-room visits doubled for underage New Yorkers from 2003 to 2009, and one in 10 hospitalizations are booze-related, while one in six adult New Yorkers report heavy drinking.

Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of homicides and 28 percent of vehicle-crash fatalities.

Community leaders hailed the effort.

“Any effort that enhances community input in issuing liquor licenses is a good thing. The . . . process of approving liquor licenses is problematic,” said southern Queens Community Board 10 chairwoman Betty Bratton.

Read more:

Pocket Shot–Yes…..I bought one

Yes….I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for items sitting at the counters of stores.

You know what I mean – Sampler Bottles, Candy, small items…..I’ll buy them.  In some cases, they have inspired me to revisit other items in the product line, at other times – it steered me away.Shot

Just the other day, we stopped at the store to get some drinks for a BYOB Trivia Night in Kingdom City (we came in 2nd BTW).

Of course, at the counter was something I have seen a few times, but not picked up….Pocket Shots.

From the Company Website -

Pocket Shot is an innovative new concept that provides the consumer with “grab and go” convenient and user-friendly package for alcoholic beverages. Packaged with a distinctive shape to resemble a miniature bottle complete with bottleneck for easy pouring and a high quality sheen with bright graphics, Pocket Shot is truly the first new concept in alcohol packaging to hit shelves in North America.

Each Pocket Shot comes in a 50 ml single serve flexible stand-up pouch containing 80 proof varietals including:

  • Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged Four Years
  • Imported Caribbean Gold Rum
  • Premium, Triple Distilled Vodka
  • London Dry Gin
  • Especial Gold Tequila Imported from Mexico

In my particular case, I purchased Pocket Shots Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

The first thing that grabbed me about the product was packaging.

Side ViewBottom

Slim, compact and self standing – I found this actually to be quite nice.  I could definitely see this being slipped into a back pocket, tucked into a jacket, hidden in a purse – thus making it easy to slip a drink into those high priced Sporting Events or Concert that bend you over with the price of beer.

ColorAppearance- The shot poured exactly 1oz as advertised and had a deep gold color.

Nose – Sweeter smelling than expected, with hints of fruit (orange rind) and light oak.

  • Taste- At the low end of alcohol content (40%ABV), there is little of the whiskey “Burn”.   Again the sweetness and fruit (still front ended as orange), although almost no oak was conveyed in the taste. 

To say I was actually surprised at the quality of the whiskey would be an understatement.  It was definitely on par (if not exceeding) something like Keesler or Old Crow.  If it had a little more bite to it, I would put it up with Old Granddad (which I also find sweet).  It’s definitely not Maker’s, but at that price – what do you expect?  The only thing lacking is the oak taste, but considering the age of maturation (4 years) this is understandable.

Overall - great packaging + unique idea + solid product = 3.5 Stars. 

My interest is now piqued in the rest of the Pocket Shots line… stay tuned for more reviews.

I would definitely consider stashing a  few of these away for my next ND game – and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to brake them out for my friends.  Will it replace some of the bourbons and scotches I normally drink/serve?  No.  But it will be in my pocket from time to time.

Web Statistics